Christ’s words were direct and profound: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure, Jesus is saying, “Show me your checkbook, your VISA statement, and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.”
Suppose you buy shares of General Motors. What happens? You suddenly develop interest in GM. You check the financial pages. You see a magazine article about GM and read every word, even though a month ago you would have passed right over it.
Suppose you’re giving to help African children with AIDS. When you see an article on the subject, you’re hooked. If you’re sending money to plant churches in India and an earthquake hits India, you watch the news and fervently pray.
I’ve heard people say, “I want more of a heart for missions.” I always respond, “Jesus tells you exactly how to get it. Put your money in missions—and in your church and the poor—and your heart will follow.”
Do you wish you cared more about eternal things? Then reallocate some of your money, maybe most of your money, from temporal things to eternal things. Put your resources, your assets, your money and possessions, your time and talents and energies into the things of God. Watch what happens. As surely as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure. Money leads; hearts follow.
God wants your heart. He isn’t looking just for “donors” for His kingdom, those who stand outside the cause and dispassionately consider acts of philanthropy. He’s looking for disciples immersed in the causes they give to. He wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they wouldn’t dream of not investing their money, time, and prayers where they will matter most.
Of course, giving isn’t the only good thing we can do with money. We need to feed, clothe, house, and transport our families. But when the basics are taken care of, why shouldn’t the rest go toward treasures in heaven?
Moses left Egypt’s treasures “because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26).
He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss.
He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he’s moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain.
He who spends his life moving away from his treasures has reason to despair. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice.
Are you despairing or rejoicing?
For more on the subject of stewardship and eternity, see Randy's books The Treasure Principle, Managing God's Money, and Money, Possessions, and Eternity.
Photo credit: Fabian Blank via Unsplash
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.